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Why should Finance and Legal Teams go Agile?

Jile Why should Finance and Legal Teams go Agile?

If you are associated with the software development or information technology industries, the chances are high that you've heard of the terms, Agile methodology or Agile practices. However, this project management approach has now spread beyond the IT industry and into several other sectors such as finance and law.

More and more firms are adopting this innovative, iterative, result-oriented project management approach in both industries. However, as is always the case, some people are sceptical of the feasibility or success of this technique.

This article will certainly assist those individuals in comprehending why finance and legal teams should adopt an Agile approach.

Let's start with the basics– what is Agile in a nutshell?

Agile Methodology: An Overview

Agile for finance or Agile for legal teams is a process management approach that aims to improve team coordination, enhance client satisfaction, reduce operational costs, and produce better results. In this project management technique, projects are divided into small, discrete tasks.

Compared to traditional project management approaches, Agile places a greater emphasis on communication and visibility. Besides that, rather than being worried about the process, Agile finance principles are more concerned with the results.

Given all the benefits of Agile for legal teams or Agile for finance teams, more and more general counsels, law firms, and financial organisations are adopting this methodology.

Benefits of Agile for Legal Teams & Financial Teams - Jile

The following are some of the major benefits of Agile for legal teams and financial firms. Although there are many more, we have only covered those that are common in both industries.

1. Timely & Accurate Team Communications

The first major reason why finance and legal teams should implement an Agile approach is to ensure timely and accurate team communication. Remember that face-to-face and regular conversations with individual team members are at the heart of the Agile methodology or Agile finance principles.

Different teams in the finance department or the legal department will frequently communicate with one another to share progress and future plans.

This exercise will eventually provide a number of advantages, including:

  • Real-time progress tracking
  • Mitigating work duplication
  • Quick resolution to inter-team issues
  • Better resource utilisation
  • Ensuring that every team and individuals are on the same page

However, in order to fully reap all these benefits of Agile for finance or legal teams, in addition to daily face-to-face meetings, other communication methods such as sprint planning meetings, sprint review meetings, sprint retrospective meetings, and scrum meetings should be used.

2. Streamlined Work Process

Another factor that contributes to Agile for finance or Agile for legal teams being a successful and feasible project management approach is a streamlined process. As we all know, to deliver the project on time, the process must be well organised. Using Agile methodology, you can achieve this goal to a large extent in both the legal and financial industries.

In an Agile approach, the project is divided into sub-tasks, and each task is processed only after the previous task is completed. After completing each task, feedback is shared with the appropriate team or individual, which ultimately helps you assess the project's direction. If you notice any deviations in progress, you can take corrective action right away.

For example, suppose you are a criminal lawyer working on a hit-and-run case that necessitates extensive research into a range of things such as the accused's health, vehicle speed, criminal background, victim's record, and so on.

In this scenario, you can add these research tasks under the "to do" or "ongoing" stage of the Kanban board system. Once the tasks assigned to each research team have been completed and moved to the "done" stage, another team can begin working.

3. On-time Course Corrections

The next major benefit of Agile for legal teams or Agile for finance teams is the ability to perform on-time course corrections as needed. Since the teams communicate in a timely, responsive, and accurate manner, any deflection from the goal or strategy is immediately detected. This will allow the appropriate team to take precautionary measures and prevent any damage.

For example, suppose a new member of an IT company's finance team processes a payment for a vendor or freelancer. He/she shares this information with their senior in the next team meeting.

At that point, it is found that the vendor or freelancer has already been paid in advance. In such a case, due to the frequent communication between the individuals, the error will be noticed immediately, and you will have enough time to take the necessary actions.

4. Improved Efficiency

The 4th reason why finance and legal teams should embrace an Agile approach is to improve efficiency. As previously stated, by implementing Agile for finance or legal firms, you can streamline communication, perform on-time course corrections, and improve communication among teams and individuals.

The 4th reason why finance and legal teams should embrace an Agile approach is to improve efficiency. As previously stated, by implementing Agile for finance or legal firms, you can streamline communication, perform on-time course corrections, and improve communication among teams and individuals.

All these benefits of Agile for finance or legal teams will eventually help you improve the overall efficiency of the team and complete the assignment on time.

Other factors that contribute to increased efficiency:

  • Agile enables each team member to stay focused on one task at a time
  • Frequent and responsive communication helps to alleviate any bottleneck situations
  • Continuous improvement at the end of each sprint
  • Flexibility allows you to make innovative changes whenever required

All these benefits of Agile for legal teams or finance firms will ultimately improve the overall efficiency of the project and ensure maximum outputs.

5. Reduced Internal & External Costs

Improved operational performance and the ability to produce the same results with fewer people will eventually lower the cost of Agile for legal teams or financial firms. In fact, according to Mckinsey's research, the Agile methodology can reduce any project's operational costs by 20-30%.

Businesses can reinvest these savings to pursue new business opportunities, strengthen their infrastructure, or expand their geographic footprints.

For example, by implementing Agile for finance, you can reduce the hierarchy in the organisation by removing the middle manager level as well as silos between the business and IT functions. This will save you a significant amount of money on internal expenses.

The same technique can be applied to a law firm as well. You can save a significant amount on operational costs by better utilising resources or reducing the number of layers in the hierarchy.

All these Agile benefits for legal teams and finance firms point to the fact that there is no reason to be sceptical about the feasibility of agile. Rather, finance firms and legal teams should adopt this methodology as soon as possible.

Conclusion

With time, companies must adopt new working methods to stay competitive. Agile is one such project management approach that offers a variety of benefits to all types of organisations, be it financial or legal. It benefits businesses in multiple ways, including improving communication, streamlining processes, increasing efficiency, and lowering costs. If you've not implemented Agile methodology yet, now is the time to take the first step.

Author

Product Marketing Team
The Jile Product Marketing Team is the voice of Jile and is responsible for all strategic marketing initiatives, including sharing various success stories and the value of Jile to all our audiences.

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